BREAKING NEWS: Marcelo Bielsa flies into London for Everton talks – but still needs convincing to take the job after concerns over their slow defence – as Toffees step up attempts to hire ex-Leeds boss
- Marcelo Bielsa has flown into London to hold talks with Everton’s hierarchy
- Bielsa could replace Frank Lampard in the dugout at Goodison Park
- He has concerns about the lack of pace in the current Everton squad
Marcelo Bielsa has arrived in London ahead of talks with Everton about becoming the club’s new manager.
The Toffees sacked Frank Lampard on Monday after a run of one win from their last 14 matches, and quickly identified Bielsa as his potential successor.
After making an initial approach for the Argentine, Everton feared that Bielsa would turn them down as the 67-year-old has concerns about the lack of pace in the squad.
Marcelo Bielsa has flown to England to have talks with Everton over their manager’s position
Everton are looking to replace Frank Lampard after sacking him on Monday
Yet the Premier League outfit have refused to give up hope of convincing Bielsa to take the job, and he has now jetted in for further discussions with the club’s hierarchy.
Should Bielsa reach an agreement with Everton, it would be his first role back in the dugout since he left Leeds last February.
During his four-year stay at Elland Road, Bielsa guided Leeds back to the Premier League and then to a ninth-placed finish in their first year back in the top-flight.
Things went downhill in his final season, though, and he left after losing five of his last six matches at the helm and with Leeds in danger of being relegated. They managed to stay up on the final day of last season under Jesse Marsch.
He would be walking into another relegation battle at Goodison Park, with Everton currently 19th in the table, ahead of bottom side Southampton on goal difference.
Bielsa would also have to deal with the increasingly toxic atmosphere at the club, with fans venting their anger at owner Farhad Moshiri and the rest of the board in recent weeks.
Owner Farhad Moshiri (left) and chairman Bill Kenwright (right) have become increasingly unpopular with the Everton fans
Following a dismal run of results, supporters turned on the board and planned to hold a sit-in protest after their most recent home match against Southampton.
Prior to the match, Everton released a statement claiming that their board members had been told to stay away from Goodison Park due to ‘fears for their safety’.
This followed reports that the club’s CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale had been put in a headlock by a supporter after Everton’s defeat against Brighton earlier this month, although Merseyside Police confirmed the alleged incident was not reported to them.
The split between the fans and the board has only widened since that afternoon, and it seems Bielsa would have a difficult job getting the fans back on side if he agrees to replace Lampard.
He would also face a tough task on the pitch, with Everton hosting league leaders Arsenal on February 4, before travelling to Anfield to play Liverpool nine days later.